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Hela is a Licensed Master Social Worker, Certified Grief Counseling Specialist, and Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher. She provides trauma-informed and evidence-based psychotherapy to adolescents and adults at NVTRP and at an office-based practice in Alexandria. Hela is passionate about helping her clients find joy, relief, and meaning in their lives through intentional connection with horses and nature, increased mind-body awareness, and nurturing relationships. 


Hela specializes in working with folks experiencing issues related to trauma, grief/loss, combat/military life, LGBTQIA2+ identities, systemic oppression, and intergenerational trauma. She integrates mind-body-nature interventions with cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, and relational-cultural therapies. Hela’s approach is based in kindness, compassion, and dedication to social justice.


Hela has been mucking stalls, riding, and finding any opportunity to be around horses for over 20 years. Hela started volunteering at NVTRP in 2015 and joined the staff as a certified PATH International Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning in 2019. Hela received her Master’s degree in Social Work from George Mason University and has completed specialized training in Trauma Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Hela is a Supervisee in Social Work in the Commonwealth of Virginia and works under the clinical supervision of Ellen Fink-Samnick, LCSW.

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